A scheme aimed at preventing people losing their homes in England proved to be below target but above budget, a report has concluded.

The Mortgage Rescue Scheme enabled not-for-profit housing associations to buy a stake or all of a home and allow the residents to continue living there by renting it back.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said it helped 2,600 households avoid having their homes repossessed.

However, the target was 6,000.

The rescues were also supposed to cost a total of £205m, but actually cost more than £240m, the NAO found.

"The scheme has helped fewer than half the number of households expected and each rescue has cost more than three times as much as expected, with overall costs sitting at £240m," said Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee.

"Spending £35m more than planned yet not reaching all those in need does not represent value for money for taxpayers' investment in this scheme."